MSCB Inc.  

Renewing the Power of Downtown through Quality Programming and Joint Promotion

500 Willow Avenue, Ste 101    712-256-5030 

What's Up in the Bluffs?
December 5, 2013
Who Wants Flower Baskets Downtown?

We've just had a major blast of winter cold (brrrrr!) so it seems premature to talk about flowers, but MSCB has a lot of work to do and we are ready to get started.  One of the things that will bring more people, more businesses and more events downtown, is to make downtown really attractive.  The city, along with the help of the Iowa West Foundation, have done the "hardscaping" which includes the streets and sidewalk beautification as well as the historic lampposts.  In 2014, we want to add the softer touch on beautification and start a hanging basket program, the "Basket Case" downtown. 
We are seeking volunteers to work on this program.  We need to study other hanging basket programs (Dundee has a great one) to help guide us, we need to look at the possible basket choices, and we need to determine what plants would be the best.  We know we can't do the entire downtown in our first year because it will be too costly (there are more than 150 historic lampposts downtown!) so we need to develop a 3 to 5 year plan.  We need to develop a budget and figure out how to raise the funds needed for the project.  And we need to make sure the program is sustainable for the long term.  And of course, we need to figure out how to keep the plants watered and looking their best.   


MSCB needs volunteers with a variety of different skills.  We need people with plant knowledge, people who like to plant flowers, people with marketing skills, finance skills, and fund raising skills to name a few.  The program will kick off in early January and we are putting out the call for volunteers now. If you are interested in helping, please send a reply to this email with your name, email and the best phone number to reach you.  Thanks for your support!      

Upcoming Events
Bloom Works Open House December 5
Artist Reception at RNG Gallery December 14
Family Night at Dodge House December 5
Santa at Rails West December 14
Nebraska Brass at Broadway United Methodist Church December 7
Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Chanticleer Theater December 13-15
Christmas Coffee & Cocoa at Dodge House
December 7

Tequila Tasting at Rodeo Bar & Saloon December 17
Artist Reception at RNG Gallery December 7
Zombie Claus at Squirrel Cage Jail December 21
Fall Vocal Music Concert at IWCC December 7
Kids Holiday Workshop December 21
Historic Homes Tour December 8
First Night Council Bluffs December 31
Holiday Concert at IWCC December 8
New Years Eve Wine & Food Event at Dixie Quicks December 31
Gift Basket Project December 9
Christmas at Rails Tours Available
Science Cafe at Barley's December 10
Gingerbread House Display through
December 29

Second Friday's December 13

Bloom Works Floral Open House 

Thursday, December 5Bloomworks   

Stop by Bloom Works Floral at 142 W. Broadway on the 100 Block on Thursday December 5th from 5:00 - 8:00 for their annual Open House!  Drinks and appetizers will be provided.  If you can't make it in the evening please stop by anytime during the day.

Family Night at General Dodge House

December 5, 12 & 19FamilyNight

Photo Courtesy of Nonpariel

From 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays in December (5th, 12th & 19th) is family night at the  General Dodge House.  Admission is just $10 for two adults and their children. 



Santa will be at the Bersheim House on December 5th, so kids, you need to be on your best behavior.  Bring your camera for this great photo opportunity with Santa and the kids.   



The General Dodge House is located at 605 Third Street in Council Bluffs.



Nebraska Brass Performs atBrass

Broadway United Methodist Church

Friday, December 6

Nebraska Brass's most popular concert, featuring a variety of festive pieces for brass quintet, will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday December 6 at Broadway United Methodist Church at 11 S. First Street in Council Bluffs. 
The performance will include: Firedance, by Anthony DiLorenzo; selections from Nutcracker Suite, arranged by Ric Ricker and Dean Haist; The Holly and the Ivy, arranged by John Iveson; Once in Royal David's City, arranged by Rob Roy McGregor; In the Bleak Midwinter, Gustav Holst, arranged by Eberhard Ramm; and Jingle Bells, James Pierpont, arranged by Geoffrey Bergler.

Members of the Nebraska Brass are Dean Haist, trumpet; Brad Obbink, trumpet; Ric Ricker, horn; Mark Mendell, trombone, and Ken Kielniarz, tuba.

Tickets: $12 Adults, $10 Seniors (65+), Children/Students FREE
Tickets available at the door.  

Christmas Coffee & Cocoa Hosted by theCoffee  

General Dodge Ladies

Saturday, December 7

The General Dodge Ladies will host Christmas Coffee and Cocoa on Saturday, December 7th at the General Dodge House, 605 Third Street.
Doors open at 1:30 and the tour begins at 2:00.  The cost is  $15 for Dodge House members and $18 for visitors.  Admission includes a tour of the house decorated for the holidays and the coffee and cocoa.  If the weather permits, the carriage house may be open for tours.

Artist Reception & Exhibit ClosingArtist  

at RNG Gallery

Saturday, December 7


IWCC Fall Vocal Music ConcertVocalConcert

at IWCC Arts Center

Saturday, December 7




On Saturday, December 7, the students from Iowa Western Community College's vocal music program will perform their fall concert from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Arts Center at IWCC. 


This performance is free to the public. 


Historic Homes for the Holidays TourHistoricHomes

Sunday, December 8


BAC Holiday Concert at IWCC Arts CenterHolidayConcert

Sunday, December 8

Community of Christ Thrift ShopCommunityChrist

Holiday Care Community Gift Basket Project  

Monday, December 9  

The Community of Christ Thrift Shop, 17 N. Second Street, will conduct their annual Christmas basket project with schools, churches and businesses cooperating plans to feed around 350 families and offer them gifts. Their goal is to ensure that no one "goes without," for the holidays. Phone (712) 328-8122 for details.

There are volunteer opportunities for adults, ranging from sorting cans or wrapping gifts to delivering boxes to elderly and homebound people. Work any time between 8:30 and 4:30, any day from Monday, December 9 through Thursday, December 12. No experience is needed; you will be paired with a seasoned team member. The atmosphere is fun and festive, with holiday music, and food and drink provided. Whether you wear a Christmas sweatshirt, an old flannel shirt, a Santa hat, worn jeans or reindeer antlers, you'll fit right in!

Please note that signup, collection of donations, questions, etc., are all handled at the Store, 17 N. 2nd St., until Sunday, Dec. 8, when the project moves into the Community of Christ Church Family Life Center, 140 West Kanesville Blvd.
Science Cafe at Barley's BarScience
Tuesday, December 10
On Tuesday, December 10 from 6-7 pm at Barley's Bar, David Darby, Executive Director, Route 6 Tourist Association (Iowa Division) will provide an interactive discussion on - From River to River: A Guide to the Original Highway 6.  Barley's Bar is located at 114 W. Broadway.  


Second Friday's Art WalkSecondFridays

Friday, December 13  


Exhibit Opening and Artist Reception atExhibitOpening  

Dixie Quicks and RNG Gallery 

Friday, December 13  


On Friday, December 13th from 6 to 9 p.m., Dixie Quicks and RNG Gallery will host an artist reception for their new exhibit.  The gallery is located at 157 W. Broadway. 

The title of the show is "Traditions Transitioned" and will feature Native American art.  Steve Tamayo, who is Sicangu Lakota as well as Donel Keeler who is Isanti Dakota will both exhibit. 

The photo shows one of Steve Tamayo's exhibits. 

Santa Visits Rails West MuseumSantaRails
Saturday, December 14
Santa will be at the Rails West Museum on Saturday December 14 from 2-4 pm. Bring your cameras and get your picture with the big red guy. They will have hot drinks, cookies and crafts for the kids too. $5 per family with the money going towards the C&NW train car.

Best Christmas Pageant EverBestxmas
Chanticleer Theater
December 13-15

Chanticleer will be presenting The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in reader's theater format on Dec. 13, and 14 at 7:30 and Dec. 15 at 2:00.  Call 323-9955 for reservations and information.  
Community Band Holiday ConcertBandConcert
at IWCC Arts Center
Sunday, December 15

The band, directed by Don Jacobson of Council Bluffs, will play several holiday medleys, as well as a Scott Joplin rag and two pieces by former band member James-Michael Sellers. Admission is free. The band will present its Christmas concert at 3 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Arts Center at IWCC.
Tequila Tasting at Rodeo Bar & SaloonTequila
Tuesday, December 17

Zombie Claus to Visit Squirrel Cage JailZombie
Saturday, December 21

Yes, we said Zombie Claus. This is not your traditional Santa. This is Zombie Claus. Bring your cameras and get your picture taken with the one and only Zombie Claus. It'll be a Christmas to remember. $5 per person, all proceeds go towards replacing the SCJ roof.  
Kid's Holiday Workshop Presented byKids
Bluffs Arts Council
Saturday, December 21

Holiday Day Camp for Kids Ages 9-12
Council Bluffs Community Hall
10 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. followed by presentation!
$10 per student

Join us for a fun and educational workshop geared towards teaching students how to put on a play. They will work on storytelling, creating a character, staging and most importantly, the value of TEAMWORK! At the end of the day, parents and friends are invited to watch our presentation of "SantaSongs", a series of skits based on popular Christmas songs such as "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed reindeer", "Frosty the Snowman" and more, written by Moira Mangiameli, local actor, director and playwright and Head of the Theater program at Iowa Western. Moira will also be leading the workshop. The workshop will be offered from 10:00am to 3:45pm on Saturday, December 21st, culminating in a public performance at 4pm.
To Register call the BAC office at 712-328-4992 with credit card information.
First Night Council BluffsFirstNight
Tuesday, December 31

Council Bluffs will host its fifth annual "First Night" on December 31, 2013. The alcohol-free, family-friendly celebration will include new performances and an new location. Along with the indoor venues in historic downtown Council Bluffs we are adding the Mid-America Center to host the Children's Activities and the headlining act of Brule. "We are excited to add the Mid-America Center as a venue for First Night. It allows us to add more seats, more parking, and more indoor space to grow out attendance" says Inky Westfall, Co-Chair of First Night.


A couple of the major acts who performed last year will be returning for 2014 otherwise the entertainment committee will be working with the Omaha Musician's Association to provide new local artists to entertain this year's attendees. The MAC will be the new host of the youth activities from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. including crafts, a magician, still walkers, fire jugglers, face painters, as well as the Bubble Wrap Stomp Finale at 7:45 p.m. Brule will perform two shows to cap the night off with shows at 8pm and 9:30pm.


According to Co- Chair Inky Westfall "We continue to make it more affordable for families to attend this event by keeping the button prices the same as last year. The buttons are $10 for adults and kids under 12 will be admitted for free. The buttons will serve as the ticket for admission to every performance and venue. Buttons will be sold at the City Hall Treasurers office, and all Hy-Vee, and No Frills Supermarket locations in Council Bluffs."


Volunteers are needed to help staff each venue and assist with set-up and clean-up. Volunteers will receive a free button, so they will be able to enjoy the rest of the evening's festivities either before or after their shift. To register, volunteers can log onto


First Night is also funded in part by a grant from Iowa West Foundation.   Other major sponsors for First Night Council Bluffs are the City of Council Bluffs, The Daily Nonpareil, and Cox Communications, and the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors.

New Years Eve Wine and Food Event At Dixie QuicksNYEDixies
Tuesday, December 31 

Christmas at the Rails Tours AvailableRailsTour

Have a group planning a holiday outing?  If your group is 20 people, you can schedule your own "Christmas at the Rails" day tour.  Contact Diane at the CVB 712-256-5652 for details.
Gingerbread House Display at Kanesville TabernacleGingerbread November 22 through December 29


"A Child's Christmas" is the theme for this year's gingerbread house display.  The display is open to the public at the Kanesville Tabernacle located at 222 E. Broadway from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily beginning November 22 through December 29. 


Don't miss the seeing these displays that are lovingly hand made and decorated.  There is so much frosting and sugar it will satisfy anybody's sweet tooth.   

Our Goals

MSCB is Renewing the Power of Downtown through Quality Programming and Joint Promotion 


Since 2001, the City of Council Bluffs has invested at least $50 million towards the improvements of its historic downtown. We have one of the best turn-of-the-century Downtowns in the State of Iowa. However, we now need to fill our Downtown with young professionals and families. Young professionals and families will support our local businesses, art and entertainment organizations, cultural attractions, civic organizations, library, parks and recreation activities, historic neighborhoods revitalization, and local schools in the historic neighborhoods.


We are actively working to have the City of Council Bluffs become listed as an Official Main Street Community in the State of Iowa, where we would like to apply the principles of the Main Street Program into our Downtown. The Main Street Program, as part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has been around for more than thirty years. The program has been very successful in rejuvenating over 2,000 downtowns across the country. There are currently 53 Main Street Communities in the State of Iowa today. Some of these cities include, but are not limited to, Ames, Dubuque, Des Moines, Mount Pleasant, Burlington, and Cedar Falls.


We firmly believe by completing quality programming and joint promotions with all of the different stakeholders in our Downtown, we can have one of the most lively downtowns in the State of Iowa. However, we can't do this alone. We need your help.


If you would like to volunteer and be a part of the MSCB Organization, please contact us via our website:, or e-mail our new Executive Director Joshua Barbee at:, or you can even stop by our office, located on the first floor of the Park Building, on 500 Willow Ave.